As you know, all our leathers are vegetable tanned using natural non-toxic dyes. While I do love brightly over saturated colours, there is something beautiful about natural hues also, and nature gives us all the tools and inspiration we need to go non-toxic and live a sustainable and natural life.
So as an ode to going natural this year, I am going to share with you some of my favourite natural easter egg dyes. Dyed easter eggs are a big deal in the Greek Orthodox tradition and we incorporate them in the decor of the table, even braiding them into our traditional Tsouraki (Sweet easter bread). I have shared the recipe for Tsoureki before, you can find it here.
While our eggs to tend to be a fire engine red (onion skins), there are so many dye colours you can make using hibiscus, beetroot, coffee, cabbage, paprika...you name it. Here is an easy DIY project for you and the kids this Easter.
What you need:
- Hard-boiled eggs, room temperature (white or brown eggs, preferably not super-fresh)
- Saucepan with lid
- White distilled vinegar (1 tablespoon per cup of strained dye)
- White dish
- Fine-mesh strainer
- Mason jars to store eggs in their dye in the fridge
- Coconut oil or olive oil to polish the eggs
- Paper towels
|Blue / Grey||
Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries with 1 cup water, bring to room temperature, and remove blueberries.
Cut 1/4 head of red cabbage (yes, red cabbage!) into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar.
Peel the skin from 6 red onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.
|Pale Green / Yellow||
Peel the skin from 6 yellow apples. Simmer in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer 4 oz. chopped fennel tops in 1-1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
The longer you soak these onion dyed eggs, the darker the colour will be. Take the skin of 6 yellow onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.
|Pale Red / Orange||
Stir 2 Tbsp. paprika into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Two cups water, 1 Tbsp. tumeric powder and 2 Tbsp vinegar to create a vibrant yellow.
|Brown / Gold||
Simmer 2 Tbsp. dill seed in 1 cup water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup strong coffee.
Chop 120 grams amaranth flowers and simmer in 2 cups water; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer the skins from 6 avocados in 1-1/2 cup water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Mix 1 cup pickled beet juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
These beet dyed eggs will darken the longer they sit in the liquid. Cut 1 medium beet into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar and let cool to room temperature; remove beets.
Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
- Gather your ingredients: You can make separate batches of different colours or one large batch of a single colour. Follow the ratios given above for each ingredient to make more or less dye.
- Add water to a saucepan: Pour the amount of water you need for the dye you're making into a saucepan.
- Start making the dye: Add the dye matter (purple cabbage, onion skins, etc.) and bring the water to a boil.
- Adjust the heat: Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Check the colour: The dye is ready when it reaches a hue a few shades darker than you want for your egg. Drip a little dye onto a white dish to check the colour. When the dye is as dark as you like, remove the pan from the heat and let the dye cool to room temperature.
- Add vinegar: Stir the vinegar into the dye — use 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of strained liquid.
- Strain the dye: Pour the cooled dye through a fine-mesh strainer your mason jars to cover over the eggs. Make sure the eggs are completely submerged.
- Put the eggs in the fridge: Transfer the eggs in the dye to the refrigerator and chill until the desired colour is reached. I let mine set overnight.
- Dry and oil the eggs: Carefully dry the eggs, and then massage in a little oil to each one. Polish with a paper towel. Store the eggs in the refrigerator until it is time to eat (or hide) them.
Have fun making your natural dyes lovers!
Love & light